Student Loan Benefits for Service Members

It’s estimated that there are 1.3 million active-duty service members and more than 800,000 in reserves. To show appreciation for the sacrifices made by these men and women, the Department of Education has put into place several benefits, including those that relate to repayment of student loans.

The Department of Defense announced a new policy in April that went into effect this month that will allow the government to automatically provide members of the military serving in war zones with a student loan benefit. The policy is based on a data-sharing agreement between DOD and the Department of Education that will allow the agencies to automatically determine which service members qualify to eliminate interest on their student loans while actively serving in combat areas.

This benefit has been available since 2008 but few borrowers have received it, most likely because the service members have not known what actions to take or that the benefit exists. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau raised this issue in 2015 and estimated that at the time, service members who should have been exempt from interest had paid more than $100 million in unnecessary interest charges.

To learn about more benefits, check out our post on the Student Loan Ranger Blog!

Who is the NFCC?

Founded in 1951, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®) is the nation's first and largest nonprofit dedicated to improving people's financial well-being.

NFCC members help millions of consumers like you through community-based offices located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Each NFCC member agency has earned our seal by adhering to high standards and ethical practices designed to help you achieve financial stability.

Funding for operations and services comes from an ever-changing combination of federal, state and local government grants, as well as donations from financial industry participants and private donors.

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Thank you to our funders.

The Sharpen Your Financial Focus program is an initiative of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) in partnership with a broad cross-section of supporters. Together, we are committed to increasing the financial well-being of Americans. This initiative is partially funded by Bank of America, Chase, Synchrony, Wells Fargo and other major financial institutions. We thank all funders and partners who make this program possible. For more information, visit

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